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A short history of the Paris Commune

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A short history of the Paris Commune


Published 1895
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26


Publisher London : Twentieth Century Press
Pages 152
Possible copyright status NOT_IN_COPYRIGHT
Language English
Call number AEK-3248
Digitizing sponsor MSN
Book contributor Robarts - University of Toronto
Collection robarts; toronto

Full catalog record MARCXML

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Reviewer: stbalbach - favoritefavoritefavorite - February 13, 2009
Subject: A short history of the Paris Commune
As the title suggests, `A Short History of the Paris Commune` is a roughly 75 page history of the 1871 Paris Commune uprising. If you've read about it already in a history survey but want to know more, without committing to a 500 page tomb, this is a good middle ground freely available. The Wikipedia article is also good for a quick overview.

Ernest Belfort Bax was a well known 19th century Socialist (SDF) and takes an unapologetic defense of the insurgents, and for that reason the book is worth reading to get a 19th centuries revolutionaries perspective (although he was not there). He even includes recommendations for future uprisings, in case one is looking for ideas :) He mostly keeps to the order of events and is a dramatic "novelistic" writer, in particular the climatic "Week of Blood". It's not difficult reading once the flow of events get started.

To really understand 1871 one can approach it a number of ways: first-hand witness accounts; accounts written within 20 years by Socialists, Republicans and other contemporary observers; and modern histories. This book falls into the second category. Given how many factions were involved there seems an endless number of ways to read about it. There are even a bunch of fictional treatments out there - just too bad Zola didn't write more about it beyond the ending of `La Débâcle`.

[STB Feb 10 2009 117]
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